By Jen Nathan Orris
Tap Into Asheville’s Beer Scene
Asheville offers a dizzying array of beer. From hoppy IPAs to dark stouts, the city’s breweries keep beer flowing like mountain water. With more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the U.S., Asheville was first named Beer City USA in 2009 and has swept the competition almost every year since.
Track down the city’s best pints and pours with this guide to a full day of brews with a view.
Three Cheers for Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you have an afternoon of suds ahead. Start with a beer-themed doughnut from Vortex Doughnuts in South Slope. The offerings change daily, so try to catch a “Rotating Tap” beer-glazed doughnut covered in beer malt, peanuts and pretzels.
Hop on a Beer Tour
Leave the car behind and jump on one of Asheville’s many beer tours. The Amazing Pubcycle uses people power (with a motorized backup) to pedal a mobile hybrid of an open-air party bus and 13-person bicycle. Hold onto your pint!
Brews Cruise is the city’s original brewery bus tour featuring a three-and-a-half hour tour of breweries like High-Wire, French Broad and Catawba. There’s no drinking on the bus, but frequent pub stops ensure that everyone wets their whistles.
Take a minute to figure out your ride home before you ditch your car. Make a plan to call one of Asheville’s taxi services or enlist a friend as a sober driver. Some tours give discounts to designated drivers.
Check Out South Slope
The burgeoning South Slope area overflows with breweries. Grab a pint at Green Man Brewery’s tap room on Buxton Ave. Green Man’s production facility is right next door and tours are held most Saturdays.
Burial Beer is just around the corner on Collier Ave. As one of the newer additions to the neighborhood, Burial is a good place to chat up locals and get tips on where to go next. Check out their taps made from old hand tools.
Suds Up Lunch & Shopping Break
Grab some pub snacks and creative tacos at Thirsty Monk’s downtown location. Then take a shopping break and pick up some BROO Shampoo at Earth Fare or Whole Foods. It’s made in Asheville from local brews and antioxidant-rich essential oils.
Bottoms Up for Beer Fests
If you’re lucky enough to visit during one of Asheville’s many beer festivals, it’s time to drink up. Beer City Festival is held in late spring, Winter Warmer perks up the winter doldrums and Oktoberfest marks the start of leaf peeping season in early October.
Wicked Good Dinner
Sit down for dinner at Wicked Weed Brewing downtown. Start off with hot boiled peanuts with IPA sauce, follow with a hearty burger, and raise a glass to the brewery’s massive and ever-changing beer list.
Beer Ice Cream for Dessert
Indulge your sweet tooth at The Hop Ice Cream Cafe. It’s known for its rotating flavors of beer ice cream, including Luminosity sorbet and Dark Matter ice cream made from Twin Leaf Brewery beer.